Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 11--Auf Wiedersehen Saale!

This morning I didn't wake up until 7:00! I guess I was a little tired. Christian was already up (usually I am awake first). There was a lot of noise last night, but I just used my earplugs. We didn't have to use the stove for breakfast because the camping place had a Küche. It even had dishes! We were on the road by 8:30ish.

Today's ride was not too exciting. We left the Saale Radweg (not so disappointed) early, after crossing the Elbe River on a ferry (this one was free). Interestingly, the ferry did not have a motor. It uses cables and the current to go back and forth across the river.

We were on the road more than we have been so far. One thing is the road is much faster than the trail (even when the trail is good). 

Since it is Sontag, not much is open. We stopped in one village at a bus stop for a Mittag-morgen snack. We did find a Döner for Christian for his lunch in another village. Then we went just a bit further after lunch and found a Konditorei. I had a stück of cake--cherry. It was good, of course! When we finished, an older gentleman came riding by. Christian asked him the best way to the next town. They had a long discussion, but it resulted in us making it out of the town in the direction we wanted to go.

We left through this old gate.

We continued from town to town. We went through a way only for bikes in the Fläming Wald (a Forest). Here's a photo of the way.

We made it to Bad Belzig at about 4:00. From here we wanted to find a camping site. There are no official Campingplatz. In Bad Belzig we had a snack (Eis for me, Kaffe for Christian). We were able to fill up all our water bottles and my two 1 liter platypus containers. Now we could camp anywhere. I put the next village into the Garmin. It took us a most interesting way. The "road" was lots of soft sand. Heavy folding touring bikes do not fare well in sand. We walked, then rode, then walked, then rode, and so on, until we made it through to the village--Schwanebeck. We saw a small playground (Spielplatz). It is not private, so we are going to camp here. We are waiting to set up our tents until later. Of course, it means no duche or toilette, but it will have to do.

Total miles today: 58

Insights After 11 Days on the Road

1--The Radweg is not necessarily the most direct route, nor is it always the easiest. Yes, there are no (or very few) cars, but sometimes I would rather have the cars and good roads than the gravel/sand/mud routes we have been on. However, it is all part of the adventure!

2--As Alexandra told me, Germany is a wifi "desert". The only reliable wifi is when we are visiting at someone's house (Bernt's in Thimmendorf and Uta's in Weimar). I have only been successful with wifi at one campground.

3--Showers almost always cost (some cost and you still get a cold shower!). 

4--Toiletten are hard to come by in small villages, as is Wasser. As is food, for that matter!

5--Meine Deutsch ist besser, but still ein mix of German und English--I call it "Denglish". However, today I understood, for the first time, what a man said to me. He wanted to know if I was going into the shower. 

6--Stock up on Samstag, because all grocery stores are closed on Sontag.

7--The Garmin is usually correct. Christian? Not always.

8--Car drivers are MUCH more considerate of cyclists!

9--If the road is busy, there is most likely a separate bike path.

And 10--Everyone rides a bike!
Parting shot for today.

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